Life raft service pricing

When will the cost of servicing your life raft quit increasing? Probably no time soon if a recent service bulletin we received is any indication. While this only applies to commercial (USCG approved) life rafts it won’t be long before others follow suit.

Our service procedures are governed by both the raft manufacturer and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG sets minimum standards but a manufacturer could exceed those should they wish. For instance the USCG says that a raft with a SOLAS A equipment pack must have at least 4 red parachute flares but a manufacturer could say it must have 5. In cases like this we are required to adopt the most restrictive standard (5 parachute flares).

So what just changed? A few years ago the standard for dated items such as food, water, flares and batteries was that if the item was in date the day the raft was packed, it would be acceptable until the raft’s next servicing. Then things changed and items had to have at least 6 months of service life left at time of servicing. This did not make a huge difference in service cost since flares, the most expensive item in the equipment pack, come with a 42 month service life. This allowed most customers to get a full 3 years out of their flare kit.

Now we are required to ensure that all dated items have enough service life to last to the raft’s next servicing. For USCG approved rafts this means 12 months but there are other flag states that allow a longer interval between servicing. Most times now flares will have to be replaced after 2 years and most items with a 5 year service life will need to be replaced at 4 years.

You might ask why has this happened? Most regulations regarding commercial safety equipment start at the International Maritime Orginization (IMO). Once the IMO sets a standard it is then up to the member states (in our case the U.S.) to adopt these standards. The other option is the raft manufacturers could adopt the standard as part of their service manuals which is what happened in this case. Since the requirement is more restrictive we are required to comply.

The major benefit will be increased revenue for the raft manufacturers. We are required to purchase our parts from them so the more parts we have to change, the more money they make. My take on this is it is not a safety issue, just added profit.

Sadly there is nothing you or I can do. IMO is controlled by European members who tend to listen to their manufacturing industry. The two major life raft manufacturers are based in Europe so they have great influence on decisions IMO makes. In the long run life rafts might become a disposable item, use them for 2 years and when they are ready for their first service, buy a new one. The problem then becomes how do you get rid of the hazardous material out of your 2 year old raft?

Brass buckled web belts

We had these at the Seattle Boat Show and now they are available online.

The solid brass, military style buckle and tip, were found in the back of a warehouse. Amazingly they were made in the U.S.A. and they are in pristine condition. Coupled with 48″ of black heavyweight 1¼” nylon webbing, you have a belt that will last for years.

You can order yours now to either be shipped or for pick up here in Tacoma. When we run out of buckles, these will be gone. The shelf in the warehouse where I found them is now empty.

Need a longer webbing length (they are easy to shorten)? Just give me a call at (253) 627-6000 and I will get you set up.

buckle-back

 

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Production Company : The Safran Company, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali (MiBAC), Roxbury, SUN FILM, Mine Canarias.
Language : English.
Runtime : 106 min.
Genre : Thriller.

Movie ‘Mine’ was released in October 6, 2016 in genre Thriller. Fabio Guaglione was directed this movie and starring by Armie Hammer. This movie tell story about A soldier becomes stranded alone in the desert after a mission goes awry.

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Movie ‘Passengers’ was released in December 21, 2016 in genre Adventure. Morten Tyldum was directed this movie and starring by Jennifer Lawrence. This movie tell story about A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.

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Seattle Boatshow 2015 #1- Belt Buckles

The 2015 Seattle Boat Show is about a week away and we are busy getting ready. A couple of days ago I stopped by one of our suppliers to pick up some last minute items. When I was getting ready to leave he told me to wait, he had found a box of solid brass military style belt buckles.

buckle-frontThese were not some import but made in America (quite a while ago judging from the dust on the box and the way they were packaged). Coupled with some 1-¼” black nylon webbing and you have a great belt.

buckle-backWe will have these in our booth 2122 on the Concourse Level along with webbing, buckles and a sewing machine to custom make straps right at the show.

 

 

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Switlik lowers pricing

Two exciting things happened yesterday, the announcement of a new James Bond movie and the receipt of revised pricing from Switlik. The movie we have to wait for, the pricing is here for us now.

Some examples include:

MOM-8A which was $719.00 and is now $595.00

MOM-600 (without pylon) was $1199.00 and is now $896.00

Coastal Passage Raft in Hard Container dropped from $5599.00 to $4082.00

Every marine product (this does not include replacement parts) Switlik offers now has a lower price and you can check them all out at WestpacMarine.com.

Holiday gifts for the sports fan

Why does polypropylene webbing come in so many colors? It is so you can have straps that show your support for your favorite team. Here at work we have problems with Dawgs and Cougs so we have to have webbing to meet their needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are plenty more colors to choose from, check out our polypropylene webbing page. We can make straps to your specifications or sell you all the components to make your own. Shipping is only $6.00 using Priority Mail and the post office provides really quick service, normally 2 or 3 days depending on your location.

If you don’t see the color you need, give me a call at (253) 627-6000. There are products I stock that have yet to make it to my web site.

How to identify your side release buckle

If you have a strap with a broken buckle, how do you figure out what it is so you can get a new one? The first step is to figure out the width of your webbing. Standard sizes are 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″ and 2″ and as you can see from the photos below, these are the nominal widths of the webbing:

1 inch
1 inch
1-1/2 inch
1-1/2 inch
2 inch
2 inch

Once you have figured out the width, the next step is to find the manufacturer of your buckle. The good news is that most buckles have the brand/manufacturer molded in to the back side of the female half of the buckle:

American Cord and Webbing
American Cord and Webbing
Fastex
Fastex
National
National

The final step is to find which model buckle you have. I sell American Cord & Webbing’s products and they make at least two different side release buckles for each web width. The bad news is the parts are NOT interchangable.

BSR style
BSR style
CSR style
CSR style

Above are two ACW buckles, the top one is the BSR style which is a bit more rectangular, the bottom is the newer CSR style which is more “contoured”, hence the ‘C’ in the product name. You can also see that the bottom buckle has the mart number molded in to the right hand side making it a bit easier to identify. In many of the other pictures you will notice that the part number has been molded in, we all have issues keeping things straight.

Is there anything we have missed, of course. Buckles can be made from different materials. Most of what I sell are Acetal which is a good all around product. Nylon is also used, some buckles are made to resist higher temperatures (fireman’s gear) and others are designed to break at a specific load (pet collars). Most of the inquiries I get are to replace a buckle on a back pack, stroller or piece of luggage where the standard Acetal material will work just fine.

Reviewing the steps:

  1. Measure the width of your webbing.
  2. Identify the brand.
  3. Figure out the model. Here looking at my online page on buckles might be a real help.
  4. Place your order which can be done from my buckle page. Your new buckle(s) will be in the mail in 2-3 days.

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‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ is a movie genre Action, was released in November 28, 2016. Anna Foerster was directed this movie and starring by Kate Beckinsale. This movie tell story about Vampire death dealer Selene fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David and his father Thomas, she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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